Monday, August 29, 2011

El Rey, Miss Catherine, and the disagreeable Affair at Pantalones Ajustado

Miss Catherine and El Rey stroll chaperoned by The Elf with No Name and Miss Dotti
"In the old days it was simple. Elves fought Orcs and an Elf knew which side he was on. Long before the usurper Mordred stole the Peacock throne and darkness descended on our Blessed Catalucia, I was but the Capitan of the Ciudad Pantalones Ajustado Militia by day. At night I sang in the cantina with my gaita band.

Once in a while the hated Orcs would raid our province. Sometimes they would wreck on our shore and we would have our revenge. It was one such wreck that changed my life forever and brought on this most disagreeable affair..."

Their's was a love that would span decades. It all started when HMS Aardvark wrecked on the Catalucian shore. The moment their eyes met, they knew neither would be complete without the other. Yet it was a forbidden love. El Rey, a minor member of the Dark Elf Catalucian aristocracy and Miss Catherine, darling of Londinium society and neice of one of Great Britorcn's generals.

A few weeks later a landing party from HMS Shut It arrived seeking Miss Catherine's return. Neither El Rey nor Miss Catherine would have any truck with that idea and the landing party withdrew rebuffed.

Now, El Rey knew Orcs and knew that this would not be the end of the affair. Bundling Miss Catherine and her serving Halfling, Dotti into the church, he assembled his men. His most trusted compadre, the enigmantic, Elf With No Name was detailed to guard the ladies in the church.

El Rey drew the remaining six elves of his command up in two ranks facing the road to the shore and waited.
La milicia de la ciudad de los pantalones apretados
Formed up before the church
The Capitan did not have long to wait. Six Jacke Tarr's soon appeared over the dunes, advancing with purposeful strides. They bore a mix of pistols, cutlasses and Bessies. Their leader was a Bosun's Mate toting a pistol and a belaying pin.
The Landing Party
Game Note:

This game was played solitaire using a mixture of both the up coming "Muskets and Mohawks 2" rules and the wonderful "Flintloque" rules.

The scenario idea comes from one of the "scenario seeds" in "War in Catalucia" available from Alternative Armies. In that scenario Orc Marines are raiding a Dark Elf village in search of dusky elven maidens. Well I haven't any dusky elven maiden figures and more importantly I do have the figures from the now sadly OOP Flintloque scenario boxed set "El Rey and the One Armed Bandit".

With that in mind I decided to stage a prequel to the events in that set. Long before the Amorican Elves invaded Catalucia, El Rey first meets Miss Catherine. The events depicted here lead to El Rey's deep dislike for the Orc military establishment even as he later requires their help to free his country from the Ferach.


La milicia de la ciudad de los pantalones apertados
El Ray, Rep 5, Militia, sword
Elf with No Name, Rep 5, Militia, two pistols
2x Rep 4 Militia, standard musket
4x Rep 3 Militia, standard musket

Landing party from HMS Shut It!:

Bosun's Mate, Rep 5, Marine, pistol and belaying pin
1x Rep 4 Marine, pistol and cutlass
1x Rep 4 Marine, Orc Bessie
1x Rep 3 Marine, pistol and cutlass
2x Rep 3 Marine, Orc Bessie

While classed "Marines" in Flintloque terms the landing party was composed of ship's crew rather than actual marines (cause I haven't any)!

Now back to the game...

As the Orc party approached, El Rey gave the signal to fire!

The elves' muskets roared as one belching a thick cloud of smoke.

Having seen El Rey raise his sword the more experienced members of the landing party knew what was coming and threw themselves to the ground.

Although the volley caused no casualties the noise and the smoke was too much for the landing party's three junior members and they fled for the beach. No doubt they will receive a stern talking to back on the boat but at least they have now seen the elephant.

One of the Rep 4 militiamen had mistakenly fired his ramrod with the first shot and quickly exchanged his musket for that of the elf behind him.

The remaining Bessie armed orc fired, putting down the left most front rank elf (he had aimed at the center elf)!

The Bosun's Mate and his remaining cutlass armed orc charged! Or at least they tried to. At the last minute they found the line of militia too formidable and ran back to the dune.

There then occurred a brisk fire fight twixt muskets, Bessie, and pistols.

Finally one of the orcs actually hit what he was aiming at and the remaining Rep 4 elf took a wound. This quite unnerved the Rep 3 militia men and they quickly dropped their arms, and carried the wounded elf off for medical treatment. El Rey stood alone!
One hit, four more take him to safety.

The Elf with No Name quickly rushed from the church, ladies in tow. Miss Catherine could not be restrained it seemed and insisted they rush to aid of her amor.
A lady determined.
Guns blazing the Elf with No Name engaged the sailors.
Pistols at 30 cm!
Once again the Tarr's charged. This time they stopped short of impact and both groups fired one at the other. The Elf with No Name was grievously wounded taking 1 of his 2 possible wounds.
A vicious fire fight.
 With his only companion wounded and his Lady Love at stake, El Rey charged the Bosun's Mate! El Rey feinted and then drove his point home!
First blood to El Rey!
It was a blow that would have killed any elf but not so an orc. The orc gritted his fangs and fought on.

A seafaring orc can give as good as he gets.
The two duelists remained locked in combat while the fire fight went on around them. Soon the orcis belaying pin drove home, staggering El Rey but the Capitan kept his feet.

Finally the orc scored another hit and El Rey fell senseless to the ground.

Un-elfed, No Name turned to flee and was shot in the back as he ran.

The landing party quickly gathered up the ladies and made haste for HMS Shut It.

When El Rey finally woke, he set about planning his revenge.

Well that was fun and down to the wire too. Thought it was all over when half the sailors ran at the first volley but not so.

Sadly, love does not conquer all this time!

BTW All of the figures were painted by the good folks at Alternative Armies. I re-painted El Rey's uniform to match his Elvis impersonator description in the El Rey and the One Armed Bandit scenario pack.

Hope you enjoyed the tale and thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Muskets and Mohawks 2 Progress Report

Burrovian Lights skirmish with Krautian Dwarves

Street Fighting Rabbits
Just a quick note today.

Have been looking over Muskets and Mohawks 2. Thought it was "done" but on re-inspection the state of THW rules has progressed.

M & M 2 is therefore being tweaked to match.

Do not be frightened by the photos. M & M 2 will be a historical game covering skirmishes in the French and Indian War as well as the American Revolution. I just like to play test with my Flintloque figures.

So far as rules updates are concerned:

  • "In Sight" is being instituted. 
  • Bows have been toned down by not having them inflict "Knock Down" results.
  • Canon and mine rules are being re-visited.
  • Canoe rules are being re-visited.
  • An addition of a point blank range is being considered.
Apologies for the delay but a better game will be the result.

As always, thanks for stopping by.

Friday, August 19, 2011

The Crossroads: Nebraska, 1876

Captain Jenks (Center) leading his expedition
Welcome to this the third game in the Crossroads series. It's been a while since the first two game AAR's so to recap, "The Crossroads" is a scenario from Charles Grant's excellent "Programmed Wargames Scenarios". In this solo game I will take the part of the US Army, while the rules used, my house rules "Comancheria" will play the Cheyenne. 

Although the scenario parameters come from Grant's book, the game has been reimagined to replicate the skirmish at Warbonnet Creek in 1876. Having received news of the debacle at the Little Big Horn, frontiersman and showman extraordinaire Buffalo Bill Cody, closed his Wild West show and headed west to offer his services as a scout for the Army. Setting out with a small detachment of troops, Cody participated in the effort to dissuade Indian leaders encouraged by Sitting Bull's success from leaving the Res to join the "hostiles". In this the expedition was successful when the troops ambushed a band of Cheyenne who had just started out on their way. In a brief tussle, Cody killed the Cheyenne leader Yellow Hand (or Yellow Hair depending on who is telling the story) and scalped him claiming "The first scalp for Custer:.

For this game I have assigned my self two companies of cavalry, a small detachment of scouts, and an ammunition mule train. The game was played with a scale of 1 figure = 5 men, and 1" = 12.5 yards or so.
Rolling for my Rep first gave me a Rep of 3! I suppose the men do not much like me as for a captain to still be wet behind the ears would be a bit odd. The troops turned out as follows:

Battalion HQ
1x Rep 5 (suppose he is there to keep me out of trouble!)

F Company:
Lt. Johnson, Rep 4.
1x Sgt. Rep 5
3x Troopers Rep 4
1x Trooper Rep 3

L Company:
Captain George, Rep 5
Lt. Harrison, Rep 4
1x Sgt Rep 5
6 x Troopers Rep 4
2x Troopers Rep 3

1x Rep 5
1x Rep 4

2x Mules loaded with ammunition.

The Cheyenne:
The opposing force would start out as 4 Possible Enemy Forces (PEF) which would leave me facing 1 to 4 warbands each of 4 to 21 figures. Warbands have a few Rep 5 leaders, mostly Rep 4 warriors, and a sprinkling of Rep 3 youngbloods. Under the rules only figures led by a Rep 5 warrior are under direct player control, Rep 4 figures will mill about firing off their ammo then leaving unless a Rep 5 warrior gets them to do otherwise. Rep 3 warriors are very eager to make a name for themselves and will often launch headlong at the enemy. Many of them flee when fired on, some become casualties, and a very few go on to do great things like stealing horses and counting coup. 

The Table:
As before the table was laid out with a four way intersection in the middle, two roads leading off to the west and two off to the east. This time there were no buildings as this fight would take place out in the wilderness.

There was a small rise on the west table edge, and another rise on each of the north east and south east edges. There was a copse of trees just south of the crossroads and two more, one to its north an the third near the east table edge between the roads.
View of the table looking west
Lucky dice again had my forces arriving first. We rode onto the table from the north west in the following order: scouts, HQ, L, pack train, F. The enemy would be arriving along both eastern roads a full four turns later.
Deploying the troops

This gave me time to put into effect a plan similar to that used in the Napoleonic game in this series.  HQ and the scouts would conceal themselves in the center copse. L, the stronger company would remain mounted and take up position west of the rise on the south table edge.

L takes up a reserve position
 F along with the pack train would deploy a skirmish line sheltering in the northern copse.

F skirmishes with packs and mounts concealed in the brush.
The vagaries of the activation rolls and my low Rep made it a bit dicey but my forces were in position before the enemy arrived. F was to open fire as soon as the hostiles came within range. Hopefully this would draw them to the north west, when HQ and L would then hit them in the flank. Nothing sends an enemy running like a well timed charge to the flank.

The enemy arrive in numbers on the northern road.
 Soon two PEF's appeared moving along  the north eastern road while two more approached along the southern road, as yet unseen. The northern PEF's resolved into a single warband, rather large but with only one Rep 5 to lead them.
PEF's along the southern road.
 Soon enough the northern PEF's came into view resolving into one more warband, this one with two Rep 5 leaders.
The southern warband rides into view.
 F's first volley dropped the leader of the northern warband and the horse he rode in on. His warriors scattered. Most fell back in disarray.

 Four of them charged the skirmish line.
 One of those was unhorsed, and another thought better of his rashness and fled.
 One young blood rode right up to the skirmish line...
 ...only to pay the ultimate price  for his bravery.

Seeing this, the northern warband and the recovering warriors from the south rode towards the skirmish line.
 That is when I gave L the order to charge! Only they balked a bit and just advanced at the trot. This was going to be trouble because the warriors were like to turn tail and firing over their shoulders, lead my men on a merry chase. Then we would get strung out only to get cut up.
 Well these particular Cheyenne must have had their blood up cause they turned left and charged us!
 There were loses on both sides but the weight of our big American horses and firepower of our revolvers was telling. Three warriors, one Rep 5 leader, broke through our line. The rest were killed or fled. Two officers including myself, and a scout were unhorsed in the melee.
 While the scouts and HQ regrouped, L headed on across the field towards the warband harassing F.
 F was having a lively exchange with the hostiles. First one man, then another, then yet another had to drop out of the firing line to get more cartridges from the pack train.
 At his point yours truly took a bullet from a Cheyenne chief. My men were steady but one of my scouts fled.
 While my chief of scouts fought off the warriors my staff took care of me.
 L took the northern warband in the flank and they fled back to the Res.
Running away is rarely the right choice on the frontier.
Our losses were four mounts, myself, and the unfortunate scout who tried to run. First rule of Indian fighting is never try to run. Ever. You'd think a scout would have known that.

In any event that is how it played out this time.

As this makes me three for three with this scenario, I need to revisit my AI. Now it is telling that in both this and the Napoleonic game random chance allowed me to get onto the field first and that is a  big advantage. Also the Cheyenne in this game suffered from a lack of leaders, and of course that fool hardy counter charge.

Still a fun game and as in most frontier games, the end results do not convey how much on the knife's edge the outcome really was. Had L company been lured away by the southern warband while F was running out of ammo on the northern side of the battlefield...well it would not have been pretty.

I wrote Comancheria over 12 years ago now and it is in need of a little updating. However I was surprised to see how tweaking one thing led to another being off and in the end went mostly back to the original. Only the to hit system and melee system require some work. Some day these may even see publication.

A tip of the hat and as always, thanks for stopping by!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Chavo Lution and the Servo Commandoes

Servo Commando 454

After the wide spread destruction of the Servo Rebellion, the import of armed droids into any of the cities of Titan Colony was prohibited. This prohibition was strictly enforced by the Rangers. However like all such prohibitions throughout history, there were always those who sought a way around them for a profit.

Chavo Lution was one such. A scavenger of some talent, Chavo headed a Free Company that specialized in salvage. Only a lunatic would have brought active war droids into the city, but inactivated droids would fetch a high price on the black market, and Chavo had come into the possession of six. Well five combat droids and their command unit. These artifacts would be worth a fortune in creds to the right buyer. It had been an easy matter for Chavo to smuggle the contraband into New Meg. Now to find the right buyer.

The dark of the cargo container gave way to a dim red glow as servos hummed into motion. “Defenses penetrated. Commence offensive sweep”. Their orders received, the combat droids set about checking weapons and breaking free of their packaging.

This game came about from my desire to expand on the criminal element of Titan. Two new foes are introduced for the Titan Rangers here. First up is Chavo Lution, a not entirely evil fellow who is just trying to make a living on the streets by matching people who want things up with the things they want. Sure what he does is illegal and the Judges must put an end to his career, but at least he is not gun crazy.

However Chavo's greed has brought a great evil into Eos City: Servo Commandos. Brought by the original Titan settlers, the Servos were employed as robotic protectors of the fledgling colony. About the time terraforming had revived Titans dormant giant reptiles, the Servos broke out into open rebellion. The Servo War brought the colony to the brink of extinction and only the most diligent and strenuous campaigning on the part of the Rangers allowed humanity to prevail.

Servo War era war droids are illegal in the Colony but fetch a high price on the black market from private collectors.

Here a small unit of war droids have used Chavo's gang as a means of entering Eos City in pursuit of aims as yet unknown...

The game started with Servo Commando 454 deployed in some shipping containers in the north west corner of the table,
View of game start looking north
Three Possible Enemy Forces (PEF's) were placed on the table. One in the building directly south of the Servo starting location. This building served as Chavo's base of operations and the PEF there would resolve as Chavo and his associates. 

The second PEF was located across the street from Chavo in front of the tenement block. The third PEF was having a go at the restaurant south of Chavo's haunt.
Even PEF's have to eat sometime
The game started with the Servos moving out from their start location only to be confronted by the tenement PEF which had itself moved north west. The PEF resolved as a preacher out with his flock. There were eight of them but only three were armed.
These are not the organics you are looking for
The friendly man of the cloth had come over to speak with the Servo leader and determine his intentions. The preacher didn't really believe the Servo's claim that the group was just "looking up an old friend", but didn't wish to cause a scene and let that slide. After their chit chat the preacher led his flock north and away up the street while one of his body guards discretely placed a call to the Rangers. A side development of this little episode was the creation and random placement of 3 more PEF's.

Leave no stone unturned
Next the Comando proceeded south along the street, preparatory to entering either Chavo's lair or the tenement. 

At this point the need for a decision on that point was removed as a gang of goblins swarmed out of the tenement right in front of the Servos.

As if that were not surprise enough it turned out that one of those gobbos was the object of the Servo incursion and his capture was job one on the mechanicals' to-do list

Battle rages as a Titan looks on
A fierce gun battle developed at close range with the goblins quite surprisingly being faster on their triggers than the Servos.

Less surprisingly perhaps nearly half the gobbos fired off all of their ready ammo in the first exchange.

There were six goblins armed with an assortment of pistols, SMG's and shot guns. Four of them were Rep 4 and two Rep 3.

In contrast Servo Commando 454 was was well armed. Their leader was a command model with Rep 5, and a BA pistol equivalent. All the troopers were standard Rep 4 combat models, 2 toting BA assault rifles, 2 standard droid blasters, and the last a rotory barreled heavy machine carbine.
Battle lines being drawn

The first round of firing left two gobbos, including the Servos' target, stunned. In return one standard war droid was rendered inoperable, if not irreparable, and another was temporarily offline. 

Of the four goblins remaining, one fled, two sought cover and time to reload, and the fourth defiantly held his ground.

Which proved a costly error as his frame was shredded by large caliber assault rifle rounds.
Nobody's right, if everybody's wrong

Servo commander moved in to finish off one of the two stunned goblins then taking strong hold on the target and heading off north up the street. The remaining Servos moved to cover their withdrawal.

Oi, Bolt fer brains! Get back ere.
At this point, Chavo's gang put in an appearance, apparently unwilling to let his "merchandise" get away without a fight.  Chavo, his lieutenant Skyla, and Six Pack burst out through the front door, while Fokker and Deets, ran up to the roof. Deb took a more cautious approach and crept out the side door and towards the street.

Chavo needs to change his trousers
Another furious gun battle broke out with both gangers and Servos taking hits. Skyla and Six Pack fell wounded while another combat droid was stunned.

With his left and right hand cohorts down writhing on the ground, Chavo did the only thing he could...and ducked back into the building he had just left with a snarled "Why does fis always appen to me!" ad he did so.

Stone Cold Gangsta 
Up on the roof Deets and a Servo both emptied their magazines at one another with no effect while Fokker preened and vogued in his best dead hard gangsta pose.

Deets had the good sense to duck back into the building to reload.
Fokker no doubt emboldened by the "click-click" sounds coming from the droid's gun, turned his machine pistol sidewize and fired, temporarily stunning his target.
See! It does work better when you hold it sidewize
Back on street level, Servo Commando 454 continued its withdrawal up the street while gobbo and human gangsters both cowered in cover and reloaded their weapons.
Our work here is done

And so the game came to a close with the remaining 5 Servos and their captive leaving the table unmolested.

Call for the clean up crew
Two goblins had died, two of Chavo's gangers severely wounded, and one motionless Servo remained behind.

Game Notes:
This game was essentially played on autopilot. I had planned to take on the role of the Rangers when they arrived but as it happened they arrived after the party had ended.

Rules used were primarily 5150 New Beginnings with some additional material from Rebel Minis "Scourge" supplement and a few bits and bobs of my own.

So what's next for Judges Baen and Esqueza?  I had planned on their being tasked with escorting prisoners across the wastelands for incarceration in Prometheus. However now that there are Servo on the loose in Eos City they may have to be reassigned.

And why on Earth (Titan?) did the Servo feel it necessary to abduct a seemingly innocuous goblin gangsta?

Only time will tell I suppose.

Better late than never?
"I din't see nofink. 'Onest."

Post Script: Later that morning Judges Baen and Esqueza arrived to make enquiries. By that time the Servos and gangers had long gone.

Despite the blood stains and shell casings littering the area no one in the neighborhood could recollect having "seen or heard anything"...

Hope you enjoyed the AAR and as always thanks for stopping by!